Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Because of Them I Am And Without Them I Would Not Exist

They are common and undistinguished as the world sees women. No national heroines, no poet laureates, no great wealth or fame among them. They are alike in many ways. The common thread that runs through all of their lives is what women the world over share and have shared throughout history: love of family; hope for the present and the future; sorrow at the loss of a loved one; anger at injustice (especially when it’s her own child); and an interest in passing on knowledge and teaching worthy principles to her children.

Yet their commonality does not make them alike. Each is an individual, each distinctive in her personality, interests, abilities, likes and dislikes. When I look at these ladies I wonder what I inherited from them. Am I similar in appearance to any of them? Or in character traits? Which was strong-willed? Who was more of an introvert? Did any of them have green eyes? Did one of them need to overcome the challenge of making quick, impulsive decisions? I wish I knew these ladies and could draw from their knowledge and experiences of life. I expect to meet them some day and learn more about them. By knowing more about them, I think I’ll learn more about me.

I am thankful to these women for the choices they made and the courage they had to live through difficult times, to marry who they did, to have children, to live where they lived. Because of them I exist and to them I say, “Thank you!”

These ladies are, left to right, top row then bottom row:
Audrey Meinzen Doyle, my mother
Emma Bickerstaff Meinzen, my maternal grandmother and Audrey's mother
Mary Thompson Bickerstaff, my great-grandmother and Emma's mother
Elizabeth Armitage Meinzen, my great-grandmother and my maternal grandfather's mother
Beulah Gerner Doyle, my paternal grandmother
Elvira Bartley Gerner, my great-grandmother and Beulah's mother
Tressa Froman Doyle, my great-grandmother and my father's paternal grandmother
Elizabeth Jane Laws Doyle, my paternal great-great-grandmother

This post was created as a tribute to the women in my family to commemorate Women's History Month, 2011, and to participate in 103rd Carnival of Genealogy. Thanks to Carnival host, Jasia at Creative Gene and to footnoteMaven for the delightful poster.


  1. What a great tribute! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I absolutely love this -- and may steal your idea (if it's OK with you).

    I'm to;d it's Women's History Month, so it's a good time to honor the women who came before us.


  3. What a wonderful idea to group all the photos like a collage...

    Love this post.

  4. This is so true - the commonality of women. I think I may do a collage of women ancestors too.

  5. I like the way you have done this Nancy.A Tree Has Many Roots!

  6. Kathy, yes, help yourself to the idea. I'll come look at your post!

    Thank you, all, for your kind comments. I appreciate them.

  7. Ah Nancy, what a nice post! And such beautiful pictures of these wonderful women. You are a worthy heir. I just shared a bit of my own history and grandmother on my hope chest blog. Come and see.

  8. Kathleen, what a lovely blog you have! I'm glad I found it before you had several hundred posts! Thanks for sending the link.

  9. What a great post. Thanks for sharing.

  10. An excellent tribute to your female ancestors. I love all the pictures. Thanks so much for your comment on my post as well!

  11. Great post, nice tribute, love, love, love the photo banner. Great stuff!

  12. Beautifully done, Nancy! And every word rings true for so many of us. Like you, I find myself searching their portraits and wondering about them. I suspect they're thrilled with your efforts.

  13. What great photos. I can see some Emma Bickerstaff Meinzen in you.

  14. Wonderful post! I love the photo group to.

  15. You have a family of beautiful women. It is a great tribute to them.

  16. What a wonderful tribute to the women in your life and to have a collage of them is fantastic. I will have to see doing something like this. Putting all the faces next to each other is fun and I think you will see all of them some day.


I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

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